Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSchumer requests Senate briefing on Ukraine amid Russia tensions Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law There is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections MORE (R-Ky.) tore into Democrats Monday morning for their latest stimulus demands as more than three days of negotiations have failed to yield a deal.
McConnell ticked off the items on what he called the “Democratic wish list,” citing tax deductions to solar and wind energy companies, workplace provisions sought by organized labor and new emissions standards for the airlines.
“Are you kidding me?” McConnell asked on the floor.
“This is the moment to debate new regulations that have nothing whatsoever to do with this crisis? That’s what they’re up to over there,” he said, motioning across the aisle.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell slams Democrats over delay in coronavirus relief bill: “Are you kidding me? This is the moment to debate new regulations that have nothing whatsoever to do with this crisis? That’s what they’re up to over there.” https://t.co/6rWzHE7qur pic.twitter.com/zDOA1wjBc8— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) March 23, 2020
“Democrats won’t let us fund hospitals or save small businesses unless they get to dust off the 'Green New Deal,'” he said, referring to a sweeping liberal proposal to address global climate change.
The Senate was in all weekend working on a huge stimulus bill to respond to the hit the economy is taking from the coronavirus pandemic. The weekend talks did not result in a deal, and McConnell has sought to use falling markets on Monday morning to raise pressure on the Democrats.
McConnell warned Democrats are playing with fire by dragging out the talks, pointing to the morning’s drop in the stock markets, which have wiped out gains made since President TrumpDonald TrumpFormer New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver dead at 77 Biden, Democrats losing ground with independent and suburban voters: poll Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law MORE won the 2016 election.
“I hear the markets are not doing well today. They’d like to ask the question of us, why not move? Why are Democrats filibustering the bipartisan bill they helped write?” the GOP leader said.
McConnell scheduled another vote at 1:30 p.m. Monday to proceed to the stimulus package.
Speaking right after McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.) accused the GOP leader of giving a partisan screed and predicted a deal could yet be reached on Monday.
Schumer, who resumed meetings with Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinConservatives are outraged that Sarah Bloom Raskin actually believes in capitalism Suspect in Khashoggi murder arrested The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to tackle omicron risks with new travel rules MORE at 9 a.m., said the talks are “very close” to a deal.
McConnell's criticism has put Democrats on the defensive.
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySenators huddle on Russia sanctions as tensions escalate Bipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law Democrats face scaled-back agenda after setbacks MORE (D-Conn.) tweeted Monday morning that Democrats are only trying to take a few extra hours to improve the package.
"This is a $2T ($2 trillion!) and the draft that Republicans wrote doesn't fix the problem. Spending 18 extra hours to get $2T right is worth it," he tweeted.
McConnell slammed Democrats for blocking funding for hospitals and medical supplies, which was included in a $1.8 trillion bill that failed to advance on a 47-47 procedural vote Sunday.
“I’d like to see Senate Democrats tell small business employees in their states who are literally being laid off every day that they’re filibustering relief that will keep people on the payroll because Democrats’ special interest friends want to squeeze employers while they’re vulnerable,” he said, referring to labor and environmental activists.
Schumer hurried to the floor to respond to the attack.
“I’m in my office with the president’s secretary of the Treasury, the president’s liaison, getting things done,” he said, criticizing McConnell for setting up procedural votes that he said were distracting from the talks.
After three days of intense negotiations without an agreement, tempers have started to fray.
“The country is burning, and your side wants to play political games. It’s time to get this done,” fumed Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneThere is a bipartisan path forward on election and voter protections Juan Williams: It's Trump vs. McConnell for the GOP's future Biden's year two won't be about bipartisanship MORE (R-S.D.), a normally affable lawmaker.
When Schumer objected to Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBipartisan Senate group discusses changes to election law The Hill's Morning Report - US warns Kremlin, weighs more troops to Europe Democrats face scaled-back agenda after setbacks MORE’s (R) request to speak after his sharp exchange with McConnell, the Maine senator exploded with frustration.
“Unbelievable. The Democratic leader objected to my even being able to speak this morning. Is that what we’ve come to?” she said.
Updated at 1:06 p.m.